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27 Three-Strikers Eligible for Release

Felons Returning to Santa Barbara County After Prop 36 Passage


Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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Of the 90 defendants sentenced in Santa Barbara to mandatory life in state prison under California’s three-strikes law, 27 can now have their terms reconsidered, thanks to the overwhelming passage of Proposition 36 earlier this month, which allows leniency for felons whose third strikes were non-violent or non-serious. Those affected have two years to file a petition requesting a re-sentencing, which will be decided by a Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge based on the petitioner’s entire criminal history and prison record.

Included in the 27 is the first person prosecuted as a three-striker in Santa Barbara: Raul Zarate, who was busted for shoplifting at Home Improvement Center and resisting arrest. Should Zarate petition for re-sentencing, Prop 36 would give the judge authority to release him on the grounds that he’d served the maximum sentence for the third-strike offense. Statewide, prison officials estimate 2,800 prisoners are eligible for re-sentencing. under the terms of Prop 36.

While Santa Barbara prosecutors have availed themselves to the third strike provision of the three-strikes law 90 times, they’ve also secured tougher sentences for 235 defendants convicted of second-strike offenses. While many of the 90 were convicted on violent for serious or violent third strikes, 12 were convicted for burglary, 2 for vehicle theft, nine for drug possession, seven for possession with intent to sell, one for DUI, and four for “other.”

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The California revolving door for criminals just keeps spinning. I am very sad for my state.

raygold (anonymous profile)
November 20, 2012 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The 'revolving door for criminals' has been a one way entrance to expensive state offered medical care, housing, nutrition and exercise programs all on behalf of the prison-industrial complex which is basically prison guards and corporations who build prisons and jails. The US has prison sentences three to four times longer on average than the EU while crime is at least triple here. The lock em up experiment has failed and we need to address the problem of recidivism and criminal behavior with more than a cudgel and dark room.

RHS (anonymous profile)
November 20, 2012 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We should have them serve their sentence and then send those that are not citizens back to their home countries. We should secure our borders so they can not sneak back in to our country and commit crimes against our citizens. In this way they won't be up for 3-strikes again.

raygold (anonymous profile)
November 20, 2012 at 2:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So you think only non-citizens are repeat offenders? That's laughable. It should be the inmates responsibility to provide their own care while in prison. Chain gangs are quite effective. Quit babying criminals. They shouldn't be comfortable in prison they should have to work long hours of hard labor to make up for their misdeeds. That might cure repeat offenses.

MSSB (anonymous profile)
November 20, 2012 at 2:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Arm-up and carry your Peacemaker, it'll be the old west soon enough!
Texas sees a lower crime-rate but a higher death toll in criminal exicutions without a lenghthy court trial at the hands of citizens who carry openly, though in California, there are less responsible citizens than in Texas.
Though this is an extreme, many that are going to be released will return to their old home on the peoples dole by going through lengthy trials for petty crimes, they have already a criminal which makes them eligible to get their old bunk again.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
November 21, 2012 at 5:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

MSSB, I think a large % of the criminals are not from the US. I agree with your comments.

raygold (anonymous profile)
November 21, 2012 at 7:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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